What busienss should know about it, which ones should use it? How it can help or hurt a small business? Any comments, just I am seeing more questions about it and class and I just don't know as much as I would like about it.
I'm also very curious about this service. The thing I find perplexing is that Angie's List seems not to have any organic search engine placement whatsoever, which is fine, because they obviously invest millions annually in ad campaigns to recruit consumers and contractors. My understanding is that consumers must pay $5/mo to access the service, and contractors pay for either basic exposure (+/- $600/yr but it may depend on the geographic market) or enhanced exposure (I've heard +/- $400/mo but I'm sure it varies).
Clearly - with millions of customers - they have a winning business model. Just not sure how effective and fairly priced the model is for contractors?
Hi, Sean! Actually, Angie's List CompanyConnect is free for companies. All they have to do is register at company.angieslist.com and they can read and respond to reports on their business, manage their profile and information. If they choose, they can purchase enhancements, but it's not required. A and B rated companies are also offered the chance to advertise in the form of a coupon offer to members, but we have many highly-rated businesses that have never spent a dime and do just fine. :) Hope this helps!
Martin, I am listed in Angies list and have yet to see any traffic or calls from it. I don't think it is as popular here as it is in other parts of the country...yet.
The good side of Angies list is that the members pay a fee to join so you have less tire kickers.
For clients, because the members pay and not the business there is no need for them to recommend poor or unqualified businesses, unlike other lead sites. As a matter of fact they are very good at making sure clients are satisfied and leaving reviews.
Another good feature is their mediation process to solve client complaints before a negative review is made.
For my electrical contracting searches Angies list has yet to place high enough in search engines for me to see any action from it.
I don't think there is much to work after you are listed other than making sure your listing has the best information.
BTW: Mike Hunter from Hunter Computer solutions tells me your class is great!
I've looked into Service Magic and have found they have over 330 complaints filed against them but... I have also found another electrical contractor that gets most of his work from them. He says that you need to work it just right for it to be successful and even gave me an outline of what he does. I am thinking about trying them (his way). If you are interested in his formula, shoot me a line and I will forward it to you.
Bob, just curious...were those BBB complaints or Attorney General's office? I know a structural engineer who has a day job and used Service Magic last year for a side business. He got as much business as he wanted from them. This may have been partially a result of not having much competition. I haven't spoken to him this year. I am interested in the formula you mentioned. I'll contact you through the email system. Thanks.
Rick, it has been a while, but I think it was BBB complaints. Some from homeowners and most from contractors getting bad leads and not being able to stop the autopayment on their credit cards after stopping the service. Most of the contractors seemed to complain about getting the leads and when they immediately called the homeowner they were told that the work was already awarded or they had a dozen other contractors to compete with and the homeowners were upset that they were getting so many calls.
Maybe they have changed the way they do business.
I am going to investigate them a little further and will keep you posted.
Update. Service magic has indeed changed the way they do business and now gives the contractor much more control over leads and territory. They still do not have the exposure and traffic here that I would like but I do anticipate it growing.
One good thing is that there is also very little competition right now so if you get on and make sure you get feedback, you will be one of the leaders when the traffic does increase.
I belonged to Angie's List for a year and would say it was okay. I found the person who did my roof, but had mixed feelings about it. I most likely would not use again. I prefer referrals from people I know or posting something here.
I just moved from Indianapolis which is the home of Angie's list. I have been a member for many years and have watched them grow from being a regional to national company. Angie Hick's, the founder, is a "resident expert" that is often called upon by Indy News groups for advice when business situations occur.
As a consumer / Angie's List Member, they are terrific. So many times we are rolling the dice when we choose a new business but with Angie's List, you can find out a lot about the prospective vendor. Plus, if things go well, you can applaud them with a good review. Conversely, if you receive bad service, Angie's list will go to bat for you and your warning reviews will help warm other members and usually bring a resolution to your problem much faster.
They have saved members many times from companies that were on their last legs but were still taking deposits for work that they probably knew would never be done.
For businesses, I have recommended that they ask their best customers to post their reviews and to follow up quickly on any negative reports. Fortunately, Angie's reviews the reports and will not put it up without first checking with the business.
The set up in Indy should be the same here where you can NOT pay to be listed. All reports are generated by Angie's Members. Then, only businesses with a A or B (?) rating can advertise. If a company does things right, they will love Angie's List. If not, poor service will bite them if their customers are on Angie's list.